- 05 Oct 16
Cult folkie embraces obscurity.
It feels like forever since Devendra Banhart was the big new thing in confessional pop. That he has retreated somewhat may be entirely on purpose, as the ‘freak folk’ champion was always plainly uncomfortable with unquestioning adoration.
There is certainly no attempt to endear newcomers on his first record in three years. Reunited with producer Noah Georgeson, the album is almost as inscrutable as its mouthful of a title. There are tinges of Bob Dylan gone tropicalia on ‘Linda’, while the zanily effervescent ‘Lucky’ fuses lo-fi disco and breezy acoustic rock.
Banhart fans will adore the muggy eccentricity. Agnostics, though, may wonder how an artist once poised to be the hippy Sufjan Stevens ended up cutting deeply obscure arthouse LPs that don’t so much play hard to get, as outrightly demand that you either give them your rapt attention or pass them over in favour of more obvious distractions.